Ford (born on July 7, 1924 with her original name Iris Colleen Summers)
was one-half of a husband-wife musical duo; the other half being Les Paul.
Ford was born in Pasadena, California. The name Mary Ford was picked out of a telephone directory by Paul, so she had as short a name as he did when they recorded as a duo. She was originally a country music performer, working with Gene Autry and Jimmy Wakely, and became one of the early practitioners of multi-tracking, where she recorded several parts of a multi-part harmony. She, Patti Page (who was probably the first), and Jane Turzy were three singers who used multi-tracking on their hits in the early 1950s.
She teamed with Paul in 1946 and they married in 1949. In 1964 they broke up both personally and professionally; Mary Ford went into retirement. Les Paul continued to perform and act as a consultant for Gibson guitars.
Mary Ford died on September 30, 1977, of complications from diabetes in Arcadia, California at the age of 53.
Her year of birth has been variously reported as 1924, 1925 or 1928.